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12 Jewelry Trends for 2012

By Jennifer Heebner, Senior Editor

Posted on December 27, 2011

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Jewelry trends come from the three Rs: red carpet, runway, and real life. Here’s a list of 12 trends compiled through jewelry market research of new styles at shows, fashion designs for spring, and top looks at awards shows.

Button and Stud Earrings: A hit on the red carpet this year and the subject of some new collections (including one from Amáli Jewelry), button-style and stud earrings—particularly in fresh and unexpected motifs—are a must-have in any wardrobe.

Chandelier Earrings: Are they back? Well, small versions may be. New modestly sized styles were evident in recent market visits with LAGOS, John Hardy, and more. Plus, a few more were recently photographed for the February 2012 issue of JCK.

Hair Jewelry: Evident at bridal runway shows and at some red carpet events, barrettes, hair bands, tiaras, and brooches pinned in place have particular appeal to younger clients for their whimsical effect. (Check out the February 2012 issue of JCK for selections.)

Jazz Age Styles: The flapper dresses from the spring 2012 runway shows combined with the now-filming remake of The Great Gatsby and HBO’s current hit Boardwalk Empire series will translate into flower motifs and Art Deco-inspired looks in bridal and fine fashion jewelry.

Moveable and Interchangeable Jewels: Ear charms are a growing category (think of styles from Trésor Collection and Oliver Smith Jeweler) that offer multiple looks for owners. Plus, the inherent movement in these styles and other types—like mixed-link drop earrings—can mix well with voluminous fashions and those that demand drama.

Pearls: Abundant, pretty, and affordable, freshwaters and mother-of-pearl are evident in new collections from LAGOS, among others.

Pendant Necklaces: Layerable and no sizing required, pendants can accessorize a range of dresses—a "foolproof" look for spring collections like BCBGMAXAZRIA, according to Style.com—from shift styles to tailored numbers.

Pyrite: Fun, funky, and inexpensive, pyrite is appearing in a number of indie jewelry designers’ collections, including Jamie Joseph, Melissa Joy Manning, Robindira Unsworth, and more. Plus, its smoky color is ideal to transition into fall fashion.

Sporty Aesthetics: Think brightly colored watches to coordinate with hoodies and neoprene accents evident on 2012 spring runways, or "tiny token jewelry," according to Janet Goldman of Fragments. (Look for sporty watches in the December/January issue of JCK.)

Geometric Shapes and Tribal Effects: Angular pieces like square rings and bangles will work well with column dresses while horn and leather accents will speak to tribal looks in fashion.

Tangerine Tango: It’s Pantone’s Color of 2012 in addition to being widely shown at spring runway shows. Coordinate other bright colors with it—called color blocking (see how celebs like Emma Stone do it) and keep it in stock in the form of stones like citrine, fire opal, and more.

Yellow Gold and Stones: The rich gold color was a familiar sight on spring runways (including the shows of Elie Tahari and Roberto Cavalli), and golden stones like beryl and rutilated quartz are abundant at shows, suggesting that both will be prevalent in future lines. Plus, gold's price has dropped a bit, further reinforcing the ongoing gold standard. For more spectacular gold styles, pick up the December/January issue of JCK.

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